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New South Wales Hopes to Cooperate with Guangdong with Its Door of Trade Open

2019-01-07 13:42:15
source:Nanfang Daily

Michael Bruce Baird, Premier of New South Wales, in an Exclusive Interview with Nanfang Daily

New South Wales Hopes to Cooperate with Guangdong with Its Door of Trade Open


Personal Resume

Michael Bruce Baird, born in April 1968, received his education in University of Sydney and was a member of the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal Party. Before entering politics, Mr. Baird worked for National Australia Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, etc. He took his office as the Treasurer when the Liberal-National Coalition won New South Wales election in 2011, and concurrently worked as the Minister of Industrial Relations from December 2012.  he was also. On April 16, 2014, when Mr.O’ 'Farrell resigned as the governor, Mr. Baird was elected the next day as leader of the NSW Liberal Party and sworn in as the 44th Governor of NSW.


 Last weekend, a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the union between Guangdong and NSW took place in New South Wales, Australia. The economic and trade delegation made up of the enterprises and institutions of Guangdong Province will go to NSW this time to discuss business opportunities with the business delegation of NSW and seek cooperation possibilities.


 Such scenes are just what Mr. Braid wanted to see. Just three weeks before the event, he decided to dedicate his first overseas trip to China. He traveled to Guangdong specifically to invite Guangdong entrepreneurs to the celebration in NSW. In an exclusive interview with Nanfang Daily, Mr. Baird said that the focus of his trip was to clearly convey the message that NSW is open to trade with Guangdong. "I see a lot of room for further cooperation in our case," he said.


      Mr. Braid’s Impressions on Guangdong


  We Need to Learn from Guangdong in Infrastructure Construction


     Nanfang Daily: This is your first overseas trip since you were elected as the premier.It will also be your only foreign trip before NSW election in March next year. Why do you choose China? And Why Guangdong?


    Mr. Baird: It's not a coincidence. China and Australia have profound historical ties and fruitful cooperation and exchanges. And the connection between Guangdong and NSW has gone far beyond economic and trade cooperation.

     Now that China has become the world's second largest economy and Guangdong is the largest economy in China, there will be even more room for cooperation if the Guangdong and NSW find a way to combine their comparative advantages. I hope to further expand the relationship on the original basis.


     Nanfang Daily: what is the main focus of your visit?


     Mr. Baird: The focus of my trip is to clearly convey the message that NSW is open to trade with Guangdong. We hope to find potential investors in Guangdong, focusing on financial services, infrastructure, education, tourism, agricultural investment, etc.


     Nanfang Daily: It has been 35 years since Guangdong and NSW got together. What do you look forward to most?


     Mr. Baird: The infrastructure construction capability in Guangdong is very great. I really want to know more about how Guangdong's infrastructure is built quickly and efficiently, while it usually takes a long time in NSW. In NSW, some projects have been put on hold since they were announced, and if they can't be put off, they will be canceled.

     We believe that we can learn from Guangdong in the fields of infrastructure construction, financial services and tourism.


    About Investment: We Welcome Investors from Guangdong with Open Arms


     Nanfang Daily: What favorable investment conditions did NSW government create for foreign investors?

     Mr. Baird: We are committed to reducing the cost of the new state economic and trade transactions. For instance, We waive a large portion of the fees for companies that do business with certain banks, tax exemptions for companies that create new jobs, and 40 percent less tax for some of the companies that we classify as part of the business. Also, we’ll grant license to would-be investors. I believe these are effective measures for NSW to develop and strengthen its foreign exchanges in the next 10-15 years. Therefore, at the present stage, we will do everything we can to improve our work in issuing investment permits and managing our accounts so as to encourage foreign investment. As I said, we welcome investors in Guangdong with open arms.


     Nanfang Daily: You have been taking a tough stance on environmental protection. What are your plans to protect the environment of NSW since you are elected as the Premier? What are some good suggestions for Guangdong in environmental protection?


     Baird: With regard to the issue of environmental protection, I think government should play a leading role. In NSW, we have specific policies on energy efficiency, including charging more for energy consumption, so as to protect the environment, save energy and reduce emissions.


        About Governance: We Follow the Tradition of Economic and Trade Cooperation Between the Predecessors and China


     Nanfang Daily: At the press conference, you affirmed the excellent performance of former governor O'Farrell during his tenure. You think the "legacy" he left for NSW will be remembered. Will you continue some of his policies?


     Baird: The legacy of the former governor is widely celebrated, especially in the areas of economic cooperation and exchange with China, where there are many advanced practices. It is important for governments and companies to wait for the right time to come. Now, with the development of relations, opportunities for cooperation between the two sides are increasing. We need to adapt and connect with this development.


A Review of Reports: Guangdong and New South Wales Progressing Side by Side for 35 Years


More than 100 years ago, the two sides have been inextricably linked, and today's economies are even more strongly complementary.

     Thirty-five years ago, a letter crossed the sea, connecting the two continents of the northern and southern hemispheres. The letter, signed by Xi Zhongxun, then Governor of Guangdong Province, and Neville Kenneth Wran, then Premier of New South Wales, marked a “sisterhood” between Guangdong and New South Wales, known as "Australia's first state." It is also the first "sister" state of Guangdong.


     Sisterhood indicates close kinship. As early as 100 years ago, Guangdong and NSW had countless ties. In the mid-19th century, tens of thousands of Chinese from coastal areas such as Guangdong made their way across the ocean to Oceania for a living. More than a century has passed, and now New South Wales has a population of more than 550,000 Chinese-Australians.


     In May, the two speakers of the upper and lower houses of NSW jointly visited Guangdong. During the visit, the delegation came to the old city of Guangzhou and tasted Guangdong tea snacks with chopsticks. The chairman of the NSW house of lords, Don Harwin, said Cantonese food was so popular in Australia that he often ate out at a Cantonese restaurant with his family or friends at noon on Sundays.


     Shirley Hancock, the speaker of the house of Commons, grew up in a community densely populated by the Chinese, loves Chinese food. "Five percent of the population of Sydney are Chinese, and a large proportion of them are Cantonese. Therefore, though we have never been to Guangdong in the past, we have long been familiar with Guangdong."


     Currently, there are four Chinese members of the NSW upper house. "The first Chinese-Australian lawmaker in NSW's history was a lady who spoke cantonese," said Don Harwin.


     Statistics show that over 70,000 students from China, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, are studying in NSW, accounting for nearly one-third of Chinese students in Australia. In addition, domestic education agencies and NSW also carry out exchanges and cooperation in multiple levels and wide fields. A few days ago, the Oceania research center of Sun Yat-sen University released the blue book of Oceania in 2014 after visiting new Australia.


     This year, Ms. Bashir, an octogenarian governor of the state, Mr. Harwin and Mr. Hancock, the two speakers of the Upper and Lower houses, and Mr. Baird, the new governor, visited Guangdong. They focused on different topics, some on economic and trade cooperation, some on space and potential of energy cooperation, some on the chance of Guangdong enterprises investing in NSW infrastructure construction, and some on the prospect of have TCM education exchange with Guangdong. At the same time, successive governors of Guangdong also led delegations to NSW many times to strengthen ties.


     NSW has rich coal mine and tourism resources, strong in high-tech industry, service industry and education industry; also important are industries like processing and manufacturing, finance, electricity, agriculture, and mining. After more than 30 years of reform and opening up, Guangdong has a relatively perfect industrial system and a relatively developed market. At present, Guangdong is in a critical period of accelerating the transformation of economic development mode. Strong economic complementariness between the two places determines the possibility of cooperation.


     Taking energy as an example. Australia has world-leading technologies in developing clean coal, wind power, solar power and other new energy sources, and is leading the world in establishing a carbon trading market mechanism. In the field of trade, though the import and export of Guangdong and Macao accounted for more than one tenth of the total import and export volume of China and Australia last year, the amount was only 14.44 billion US dollars, and the import proportion was relatively small. By the end of 2013, Guangdong had utilized $817 million of foreign investment from Australia while Guangdong enterprises invested $163 million in Australia.


General planning: Zhang Dongming and Fu Lang

Current Issue of Coordination: Su Caifang, Duan Gong wei and Huang Guoping

Writing:  Lai Jingchao from Nanfang Daily

Translation: Lai Jingchao and Wang Danchen